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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 May 2006, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
Final day of 'elephant' spectacle
Giant mechanical elephant in the Mall

Parts of central London came to a standstill as crowds flocked to see the climax of a four-day street theatre spectacle that has gripped the city.

The tale of the Sultan's Elephant featured a mechanical "time-travelling" elephant, the size of a three-storey house, and a huge puppet girl.

She brought the event to an end when she blasted off in a rocket as the elephant bowed before her.

The story was played before a backdrop of some famous London landmarks.

The departure at Horse Guards Parade was the final twist in an event that has brought delight to adults and children alike.

Jules Verne inspiration

The show began on Thursday morning with the appearance of a crashed spaceship - out of which the 5m (16ft) tall mechanical girl emerged - in Waterloo Place, off Pall Mall.

Since then the girl puppet and the 42-tonne giant elephant, made of hundreds of moving parts, have paraded through the streets of London, wowing spectators with life-like movements and their intricate design.

Elephant showers girl
The girl takes an outdoor shower watched by hundreds

Visitors could even hear the girl snore and see the elephant breathe as the odd couple slept.

The project is the brainchild of one of France's leading street arts company, Royal de Luxe.

The Sultan's Elephant has been four years in the planning and is said to be inspired by the stories of Jules Verne, author of Around the World in 80 Days.

The event was funded mainly by Arts Council England and the London Development Agency.

See the mechanical elephant walking through London

Mechanical elephant visit looms
04 May 06 |  London


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